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Class of 2014

BY LEANN DILBECK –

It’s graduation time. High schools and colleges across the Nation are issuing a document that recipients have labored for, invested in and coveted. A document that fulfills a significant milestone and turns the page to another new exciting chapter in life…most with high expectations for success and happiness.

Graduates are going to hear advice from parents, teachers, counselors, family, commencement speakers and so on. But it can be very overwhelming when someone literally hands you the key to open the door to the rest of your life. My advice and prayer for each member of the Class of 2014, comes simply from 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “…do all that you do for the glory of God.”

Our lives are His and we have each been created by Him for a specific purpose. It doesn’t mean we have to all stand behind a pulpit or be missionaries in a third world country. But we are to be His light into the world.

Most graduates embark on the world with a passion and energy to change it. I pray the focus of this Class of 2014 is about leaving footprints that help lead a dark and dying world to Him. That it is done in such a way that the Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017 and so on will want to walk in those same footprints…always making deeper footprints…long-lasting impressions of a life led for and in Him.

The world is going to send you on some wild goose chases in search of happiness but I challenge you to stay focused on JOY. Some bosses or professions will ask you to compromise your integrity, some will demand you sacrifice precious time with family, others will use your talent for their own personal gain…your greatest armor in any of life’s situations is JOY, an acronym for Jesus-Others-Yourself and a very helpful key in remembering the order our priorities in life should be.

Keep your eyes on Him and the big picture of life.  Never stop being a student of the Bible. The world will tell you that its teachings are outdated and do not fit in this world but that’s a lie. Yes, while the world is a much different place than when it was written, its message and principles are, and will always be, unchanged and timeless. Someone once said, “we must adjust to changing times and hold tight to unchanging principles.”

Let your life’s success and life’s happiness be defined by the legacy that you leave. Will it be one of a life lived in search of fun, fame and fortune? Will it be one lived in anger, bitterness and resentment? Or will it be a life lived in a spirit of peace, joy, love and contentment?

Matthew 6:21 says “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Instead of investing money, time and sweat into the treasures of this world, invest all that you do in the treasures of Heaven and building His kingdom instead of your own.  Don’t think of integrity as doing the right thing when no one is looking…remember, it’s doing the right thing because He IS looking.

I pray you choose the path of life. I pray you work hard, live honestly, treasure the sanctity of marriage and raise God-fearing children.

I pray that regardless of your motivation, regardless of your dreams and expectations, whatever you do…you will do it for His glory…and no one else’s, including yourself.

I pray that as you embark on this world passionate about making your mark on this society, that you will not let your success and happiness define you but allow a life lived for Him to define your success and happiness.

All for His glory –

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